See how they do it this Saturday, Sept 28!

One of the things that makes Artistry in Fashion so special is our Designer Showcase. The showcase is a way for shoppers to see a sampling of our designers’ wares, all in one place. If you’ve been, you know how fun it is to see our models (all student volunteers!) strutting their stuff in a gorgeous array of clothing and accessories. But those ensembles don’t create themselves. It takes the extraordinary talents of stylists Stacy Harris and Sarah Bunje—talents that only years of experience can bring. We had a chat with both of them to hear more about their backgrounds and their work at AIF.

Stacy Harris—Eminent Emcee & Mode Maven

CFD:    What do you think is special about Artistry in Fashion?

SH:      I’m always blown away by all the local talent. I’m a New York girl who moved to Redwood City. To have this in my backyard was enormously surprising. And to have Ronda embrace me as a stylist and as a board member is an honor. I think the world of Ronda and the network she has built.

CFD:    You’ve done the styling for AIF for a while now, haven’t you?

SH:      This is my ninth year doing this for Ronda! As it has evolved as a styling job, most of the vendors are now waiting to show me their latest and greatest.

CFD:    After the selection process, you have only a short time to get everyone dressed for the show. What’s that like?

SH:      I’ve never met the girls and don’t know who I have to work with. They are all different sizes. I just start putting clothes on them and then Sarah adds the accessories. My favorite part is when one of the models tells me, ‘I’m buying every single thing that you put me in today!’ They all feel so great.

CFD:    Incredible. But that’s not all you do. You MC the show as well. That seems like another skill set entirely. How are you able to do that too?!

SH:      I was the VP of Sales for Etro RTW. I had to give presentations all the time. At [Neiman Marcus’] Conclave in Dallas, I used to give 45-minute presentations for each season of Etro’s collection. Before that, I was in the buying office for Bergdorf Goodman, women’s sportswear. My passion has always been seeing how people express themselves in clothing.

Sarah Bunje—Accessory Goddess

CFD:    You and Stacy select the items from the vendors without coordinating. Yet everything comes together for the show. How do you do it?!

SB:      I’ve been doing the styling with Stacy for several years now. She picks out all the clothes; I pick out the accessories. We have no idea what the other is choosing. It’s amazing how it always works!

CFD:    Tell me about your background.

SB:      I graduated in home economics education from Oregon State University. My first job was teaching at a high school in Campbell. Then later I decided to do adult education. I was in a class with Ronda about how to fit patterns. Because of my strong interest, I was hired by the [Cañada fashion] department to teach Fashion Image and Techniques of Fit.

CFD:    What was Fashion Image all about?

SB:      Fashion Image was a class where we talked about what colors people should be wearing and what type of clothing would [flatter] their figures. I taught at Cañada for 10 years.

CFD:    You also used to have your own shop, didn’t you?

SB:      Yes, I started a women’s clothing shop with my business partner, Frankie Meyer, in Burlingame in the late 80s. We looked for things that were artist-inspired: clothing and accessories. That’s when I retired from Cañada. I really miss it.

CFD:    You must have done a lot of styling with your customers.

SB:      Styling was the best part of my job running the shop. When people would come in, I could just look at them and say either, ‘You’re a silver person or a gold person, and you will look good in these kinds of colors.’

CFD:    And accessories were your specialty, right?

SB:      Yes, I still have a women’s accessory business. I do necklaces and earrings made out of paper.

CFD:    What’s it like coming back to Cañada each year for Artistry in Fashion?

SB:      I like being back with Ronda and all the people that are up there. I really enjoy seeing what other people are creating, all the different ways that people can put an outfit together.

The Designer Showcase begins at 11:30 a.m. in the main quad amphitheater. Be sure to come early and get a good seat!